Foreign Travel

When traveling on NOAA cooperative institute budgets, flights using US carriers with an “operated by” code share (must be ticketed subsidiary to US company) can be ticketed without NOAA approval. Contact Collen or Fred prior to arranging travel. CICOES must purchase all tickets; we can not reimburse foreign airfare that did not get prior approval from CICOES.

Additional Airline Rules for Foreign Travel

As CICOES is almost entirely funded with Federal funds, we’re required to comply with the Fly America Act, which says that when flying–with a few exceptions–travelers must use a U.S. Flag Carrier (i.e. a U.S. owned airline). This is stricter than the general UW rules. (Please note that the travel agency we most commonly use is aware of these rules, and books flights within their restrictions.)

Highlights of the Fly America Act

When flying, a U.S. airline must be used if there is service available, unless one or more of the conditions exist:

  • No U.S. air carrier provides service on a particular leg of your route.
  • Use of a U.S. carrier extends travel time by 6 or more hours.
  • Use of a U.S. carrier increases the number of aircraft changes outside the U.S. by two or more.
  • Use of a U.S. carrier requires a connecting time of four hours or more at an overseas interchange point.
  • Use of foreign air carrier is necessary for medical reasons.
  • Use of foreign air carrier is required to avoid unreasonable risk.
  • Service on a foreign air carrier is three hours or less, and use of U.S. flag air carrier doubles en route travel time.
  • Seat on U.S. air carrier in coach class service is unavailable, seat on foreign air carrier in coach is available.

Lower cost, in and of itself, is not an acceptable reason to use a foreign air carrier.

Countries approved for federal funded transportation services: European Union plus Iceland and Norway, Australia, Switzerland, Japan.

Open Skies Agreement Countries

Insurance and Emergency Services

If you have any question about these rules please contact Collen at

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